A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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The two parish in Long Stanton, All Saints and St. Michael, were both first recorded in 1217. (fn. 1) No evidence has been found for the dependence of either on the other and they presumably originated as distinct manorial within the township. (fn. 2) The benefices were united in 1923 (fn. 3) but the ecclesiastical parishes remained separate until 1959, when St. Michael's became a chapel of ease to All Saints. (fn. 4)
The advowson of All Saints' was attached to Tonys fee, belonging in 1263 to Roger (III) de Tony and in 1315 to Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick. (fn. 5) Guy's son Thomas was licensed in 1346 to grant it to the dean and canons of Astley (Warws.), who were to appropriate it. (fn. 6) The dean presented a rector in 1350 (fn. 7) and the appropriation was not made until 1380, (fn. 8) when a vicarage was established. In 1381 the advowson of the vicarage and an annual pension of 6s. 8d. were reserved to the bishop of Ely. (fn. 9) A fresh appropriation to the dean and chapter of Astley in 1390 divided the tithes between them and the vicar and made other arrangements. (fn. 10) The patronage of the vicarage was exercised by Astley college in the 15th century. (fn. 11) The dean and chapter granted a turn in 1517 to Ralph Bartlett and William Wheatley, who made two presentations in 1534, the first evidently being revoked. A turn was granted in 1535 to Thomas Shadwell, registrar of Canterbury, who exercised it in 1538. (fn. 12) Astley college was dissolved in 1545, when the rectory of Long Stanton was granted to Henry Grey, marquess of Dorset (d. 1554). (fn. 13) All Saints' advowson belonged in 1561 to his daughter Lady Catherine Grey, (fn. 14) but was perhaps held from her by Henry's step-brother George Medley (d. 1561), to whom it was committed under the will, proved 1560, of Richard Carr, possibly the former master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. (fn. 15) Medley's executors granted a turn to Thomas Ithell, master of Jesus College, Cambridge, which he exercised in 1566. (fn. 16) The advowson probably afterwards descended with the rectory estate and was given by the Crown in 1600 to the bishop of Ely, (fn. 17) who presented from 1618. (fn. 18) The king named an Oxonian to the living in 1627 during a vacancy. (fn. 19) After 1923 the bishop presented to the united benefice alternately with Magdalene College, Cambridge. (fn. 20)
The rectory was one of the most valuable in Chesterton deanery throughout the 13th century, worth 30 marks c. 1217 and 50 marks in 1291. (fn. 21) In 1390 the vicar was assigned the small tithes and an annual stipend of £10. (fn. 22) The assessed value in 1535 was nearly £14, about in the middle of the range for the deanery. (fn. 23) The living, augmented by £10 a year by Bishop Gunning of Ely (1675-84) and by a further £20 by one of his successors, was worth £48 annually in 1728. (fn. 24) The vicar's income in 1831 was £155; (fn. 25) the Ecclesiastical Commissioners increased it by stipends of £73 in 1876 and £30 in 1882, the latter from capital given by Jesus College, Cambridge. (fn. 26) After inclosure in 1816, when an allotment was made for tithes, the vicar owned 61 1/2; a., of which 5 a. were in St. Michael's and 8 a. in Westwick. (fn. 27) The glebe brought in £115 in 1885, making a total income of £264. (fn. 28) 37 a. were sold in 1920. (fn. 29) The glebe of the united benefice covered 102 a.; 25 a. were sold in 1933, (fn. 30) leaving 77 a. in 1987. (fn. 31)
The rectory house of All Saints burned down in 1349 (fn. 32) and was rebuilt. In 1390 the vicar was given its hall, chambers, stable, and kitchen, and a garden between the house and the highway on the west in which he might if he wished build a new house. (fn. 33) In the 17th century the vicarage stood in that position, facing the village street north-west of the church. In 1615 it had a hall, small parlour, kitchen, woodhouse, pantry, study, and two chambers. (fn. 34) The vicar Theodore Waterland said in 1728 that he had spent £500 on the house and a barn. (fn. 35) Its condition was good in 1783, (fn. 36) and repairs had recently been completed in 1807, but it had evidently never been extended and in 1832 was being let as two cottages. (fn. 37) The curate in 1836 recommended that it be pulled down, but it was repaired c. 1850 by Henry Smith, vicar from 1849, (fn. 38) and was twice enlarged and modernized in the early 20th century. (fn. 39) From 1923 it was the residence for the united benefice. (fn. 40)
The only rector known to have been appointed by the earls of Warwick was evidently their client: John of Hanslope (fl. as rector 1331-49) took his name from a Buckinghamshire village which was a local centre of the earls' estates. (fn. 41) He gave a set of vestments to his church, (fn. 42) but was a pluralist. (fn. 43) In 1331 a chaplain serving the cure, presumably in his absence, gave a small rent to help support his colleague the chaplain of St. Mary. (fn. 44) Several of the incumbents after 1350 had links with Astley college, the first, Richard Broughton, being a prebendary. (fn. 45) Robert Gainsborough became vicar of Long Stanton on resigning the deanery of Astley in 1397, (fn. 46) and a later dean, John Brereton or Powell, was vicar from 1534. (fn. 47) Guilds of All Saints and St. Catherine were mentioned in 1521. (fn. 48)
The absentee vicar (fn. 49) employed a curate in 1543, (fn. 50) but by 1564 many parishioners were failing to attend, the children were not catechized, and the register was neglected. (fn. 51) Vicars in the late 16th and early 17th century were mostly Cambridge men and more assiduous; two resided in the village, died while serving, and were buried in Long Stanton. (fn. 52) Early 17th-century misdemeanours reported by the churchwardens were mostly of working on holy days, though one man was presented for not kneeling during prayers. (fn. 53) Thomas Roots, vicar from 1630, was praised in 1650 but the parliamentary commissioners nevertheless thought the union of the two parishes desirable. By 1657 both were served by Henry Grey, rector of St. Michael's from 1651. (fn. 54) He was a member of the Presbyterian classis in Cambridge by 1656 (fn. 55) but accepted episcopal ordination after the Restoration (fn. 56) and was commended at the bishop's visitations of 1662 and 1665. In 1662 All Saints parish had only three frequent absentees from church and two unbaptized adolescents. (fn. 57)
The two benefices were held together by Grey's successors until 1779. (fn. 58) In 1728 Theodore Waterland, incumbent 1719-64, held most services at All Saints', and St. Michael's was in very poor repair, but shortly afterwards he seems to have alternated between the two. He reported that All Saints' was much more conveniently sited for his flock and that all the books and plate had to be carried to St. Michael's for services there. He lived in Long Stanton for half the year. (fn. 59) His successor Edward Blakeway was an absentee and in 1775 a curate held two Sunday services, alternating weekly between the . After 1779 (fn. 60) separate presentations were again made to the two benefices. All Saints' was held from 1783 by William Frend, who vacated the living on his conversion to Unitarianism in 1787. (fn. 61) Vicars in the 19th century usually held All Saints' for long periods but at first had other cures elsewhere which provided the greater part of their income. (fn. 62) The curate in 1807 held two Sunday services, with a sermon in the morning. Being a deacon, he had to have another clergyman give communion three times a year. He did, however, catechize the parish children during Lent and awarded prayer books as prizes. (fn. 63) Church services continued much the same under curates in 1825 and in 1836, (fn. 64) when the rector of St. Michael's held the post. (fn. 65) Attendance at morning service was estimated at 70 in 1873 and 50 in 1885, but there were never more than ten communicants throughout most of the 19th century. Half the parishioners were said in 1897 to be dissenters, though some of them also went to church. The then vicar, W. H. Allen, claimed to have persuaded many families to be baptized, and had increased the number of communicants to 18 at a monthly service. Allen's successor, H. B. Woolley, was made rector of the united benefice in 1923 and held services in both every Sunday; (fn. 66) in 1969 and 1984 his successors also acted as chaplain at the military base. (fn. 67)
The church of ALL SAINTS, so called by 1217, (fn. 68) comprises a chancel with north vestry, an aisled nave with south porch and large south transeptal chapel, and a west tower with spire. It is built mostly of field stones with ashlar dressings, the roofs being tiled. The chancel was still thatched with straw in 1623 (fn. 69) and weatherings for thatch survive on the tower and chancel arch walls, but the chancel, nave, and porch were tiled and the aisles leaded by 1742. (fn. 70)
The greater part of the church dates from a reconstruction after the existing building was damaged by fire in 1349 so completely that it was unusable for services. (fn. 71) The new church was evidently substantially complete by 1361, when a falling tree broke through the roof and killed two people inside. (fn. 72) Its nave is four bays long, divided by identical arcades of octagonal piers, with a similar arch across the east end of the south aisle between it and the south chapel, which extends into the eastern bay of the aisle. The three-light aisle windows have reticulated tracery. The south transept, formerly called the Cheyney chapel (fn. 73) and latterly the Hatton chapel, was put up before the south aisle, and has in each wall an elaborately traceried four-light window. High in the east end of the aisle wall is a small two-light window which may have lit an altar in the aisle. The east end of the north aisle also served as a chapel and has a 14thcentury wall piscina and a bracket for a figure. The chancel windows also have 14th-century tracery (fn. 74) and there are large blind arches on the inner faces of the side walls, which enclose blocked low windows close to the west end of the chancel. The tower and spire and probably the south porch were added in the 15th century.
Inside the church, features surviving from the rebuilding include the triple sedilia. The octagonal 15th-century font displays a different design of Perpendicular tracery on each face. A square box pew with an early Renaissance frieze predates the acquisition of the manors by the Hattons but is known by their name. It was moved from the middle of the nave to the north aisle c. 1900. (fn. 75) The medieval altar had been taken away by c. 1561 and in 1564 the chancel was said to be ruinous. (fn. 76) The chancel screen survived in the mid 18th century (fn. 77) but had been removed by 1843. (fn. 78)
The south chapel contained an altar, and a piscina and niche were recorded there in 1742. (fn. 79) The alabaster monument to Sir Thomas Hatton (d. 1658) and his wife Mary, which remains in the chapel, was said to have been first put up under its west window. (fn. 80) The couple are depicted in recumbent effigies on a tomb chest, the side panels of which carry the figures of six of their children. It resembles the monument at Horseheath to Mary's parents Sir Giles and Dorothy Alington. (fn. 81) A classical half canopy on Corinthian pillars frames the tomb. It has been attributed to Edward Marshall, (fn. 82) who had worked nearby at Swavesey and Conington. (fn. 83) Sir Thomas's will set aside £200 for it. (fn. 84) In 1770 his descendant and namesake (d. 1787) moved the monument to the north end of the chapel's east wall as part of a general rearrangement to turn the chapel into a family vault. (fn. 85) He walled off the southern part, blocked all three of its windows though leaving the tracery intact, and behind the internal wall built a sepulchre for 12 coffins. (fn. 86) A 14th-century canopied niche was reset in the dark chamber which occupied the space above the sepulchre. Perhaps at the same time the south gable of the chapel, surviving in 1742, was replaced by the present hipped roof. (fn. 87)
By 1742 at least one dormer window had been let into the nave roof, and perhaps the 'several' recorded in 1843; all were removed later in the 19th century. (fn. 88) By 1910 all that remained of the original timber roof were the wall plates and tiebeams, the rest of the structure perhaps having been destroyed when the dormers were inserted. In the 19th century a brick vestry was added on the north side of the chancel, and the upper part of the chancel north wall was rebuilt in brick with an additional buttress so that the easternmost window had to be resited further west.
The church was fully restored between 1886 and 1891, when the window tracery was renewed and the top of the spire rebuilt. (fn. 89) Internal repairs and refurbishment in the late 19th and early 20th century were largely done at the expense of R. H. Wood, a notable benefactor of church restorations, and his wife Elizabeth, whose maiden name, fortuitously, was Hatton. (fn. 90) They restored the Hatton monument in 1887 and reglazed the chancel east window in 1891. (fn. 91) The renovation of the south chapel, last used for a Hatton burial in 1845, was undertaken in 1908 under R. H. Wood's will. (fn. 92) Although the sepulchre was left in place, other changes were extensive: the partition wall was taken down, three mural monuments were removed to the chancel, and the windows were unblocked, the new glass including a series of Hatton coats of arms. (fn. 93) There are hatchments for three members of the Hatton family. (fn. 94)
The registers survive only from 1672, but there are bishop's transcripts for most years after 1599 except the Interregnum. (fn. 97)
St. Michael's church was evidently founded by the lords of Colvilles manor, to which the advowson was attached in the 13th and 14th centuries. The earliest recorded presentation was that by Philip of Stanton (d. c. 1268) of his clerk Robert. Philip's grandson Philip de Colville claimed and was adjudged to own the advowson in 1276 after the king had presented as custodian of Nicholas Cheyney, heir to Colville's undertenant. (fn. 100) An incumbent named at that time by the king's mother Eleanor of Provence, Nicholas's guardian, nevertheless retained the living. (fn. 101) Philip de Colville's grandson and namesake presented in 1305 (fn. 102) but later in the century the advowson was held by feoffees who presented in 1349, 1352, and 1397. (fn. 103) The patronage remained attached to Colvilles manor and was exercised by John Cheyney in 1402 and 1427, (fn. 104) though in 1405 the bishop of Ely was said to have presented, (fn. 105) presumably by lapse. Like the manor, the right to the advowson fell into dispute between the Cheyney and Burgoyne families, evidently after 1432, when John Burgoyne presented John Cheyney to the living; (fn. 106) the conflicting claims may have begun as the result of a temporary arrangement made by them. Thomas Burgoyne presented a rector without dispute in 1466 (fn. 107) but in 1472 his widow Alice and Sir John Cheyney, who were then engaged in litigation over the manor, both put candidates forward to the bishop. It was found that Sir John's ancestors had held the advowson for 50 years and that his presentation was valid. (fn. 108) He presented again in 1474 (fn. 109) but in 1492 Alice Burgoyne's son Thomas successfully contested the advowson with Cheyney's son Sir Thomas. (fn. 10) Thomas Burgoyne presented in 1506 and his widow Elizabeth in 1515 and 1526. Their son Christopher named the rector in 1547 and Christopher's grandson Thomas in 1555. (fn. 111) Dr. Thomas Byng, master of Clare Hall (later College), Cambridge, presented in 1573 by concession (fn. 112) and in 1580 Thomas Burgoyne sold the advowson to Edward Lucas, who sold it in 1581 to Henry Harvey. (fn. 113) Harvey, master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, left it by will proved 1585 to Magdalene College, (fn. 114) which retained it until 1923 and thereafter presented alternately with the bishop to the united benefice. (fn. 115)
The living, assessed at 7 1/2; marks c. 1217 and 20 marks in 1291, was one of the poorest in the diocese in the 13th century, (fn. 116) and remained near the bottom of the range of those in Chesterton deanery in the 16th. (fn. 117) In 1279 the glebe comprised 2 a. of arable and 10 a. of meadow. (fn. 118) By 1638 there were perhaps nearly 50 a. (fn. 119) At inclosure in 1816 the rector received 77 a., 52 a. of which were in All Saints parish. (fn. 120) The tithes were commuted in 1847. (fn. 121) /emph>In the 1880s the tithe rent charge was worth £250 and the glebe was let for £93. (fn. 122)
The parsonage of St. Michael's was perhaps the five-hearth house vacated by the incumbent shortly after 1664. (fn. 123) By 1783 it was divided into tenements and in very poor repair, (fn. 124) though the rector again lived there by 1807. (fn. 125) In the early 1820s a fuller repair was attempted but the work was not completed and in 1836 it was said that the house needed rebuilding all over again. (fn. 126) A new house was being erected on the site in St. Michael's high street in 1883. (fn. 127) It was sold c. 1946. (fn. 128)
John of Scarborough, named as rector by Eleanor of Provence before 1275, (fn. 129) retained the benefice until his death in 1305. (fn. 130) Most 14thcentury rectors appointed by the lords of the manor had only local Cambridgeshire connexions, (fn. 131) though two members of the Eltisley family were more distinguished. (fn. 132) In the 15th century many rectors resigned or exchanged the living. (fn. 133) Two in mid century were from Long Stanton families. (fn. 134) The Cheyney and Burgoyne patrons in the late 15th and early 16th century always named Cambridge graduates to the living. (fn. 135)
The staunchly protestant William May, who was deprived by Queen Mary of the deanery of St. Paul's and the presidency of Queens' College, Cambridge, appears to have been admitted to St. Michael's in 1558, (fn. 136) and was succeeded on his death in 1560 by his brother John, later bishop of Carlisle. (fn. 137) Like others before him, John May resigned the living. (fn. 138) He was not licensed to preach and in 1561 had engaged a preacher. (fn. 139) In 1568 the vicar of All Saints', William Nevard, was acting as his curate. (fn. 140) Nevard's successor at All Saints' was said in 1599 to serve St. Michael's and take its income despite not being licensed. (fn. 141) Early 17th-century rectors usually employed a curate. (fn. 142)
Between the 1650s and 1779 St. Michael's and All Saints' were served by the same incumbent, but after 1779 Magdalene College appointed its fellows to the rectory, (fn. 143) including William Cecil, rector 1823-82, who before he went to Long Stanton had designed and demonstrated what has been regarded as the first working gas engine. As rector he interested himself in some aspects of church reform. (fn. 144) In 1825 he was holding morning and afternoon services each Sunday, and had 6-12 communicants at the quarterly service, a much higher proportion of the population than in All Saints. In his old age he was assisted by the vicar of All Saints'. (fn. 145) Cecil probably held the same services throughout his incumbency, (fn. 146) but his successor preached twice on Sundays, held weekday services in Lent, and celebrated communion monthly with an average attendance of 10. (fn. 147) The last separate rector of St. Michael's, another Magdalene man, in 1897 held similar services and had 18 communicants in a churchgoing population of c. 55, about two thirds of the parish. (fn. 148) By the 1960s, as in 1984, the church was used for only two or three services a year. (fn. 149) It was declared redundant in 1973 and was taken over by the Redundant Fund in 1975. (fn. 150)
The church of ST. MICHAEL, so dedicated by 1217, (fn. 151) comprises a chancel and an aisled nave with south porch and west bellcot, and is built of field stones with ashlar dressings. The nave and aisles are contained under a single thatched roof, one of only two to survive in Cambridgeshire. The chancel too was thatched in the mid 18th century (fn. 152) and probably still in the mid 19th; (fn. 153) it was presumably tiled during the 1884 restoration.
Ashlar fragments reset in the north wall close to the door are probably of the 12th century, but the present building dates largely from the mid 13th. The nave and aisles are divided by four-bay arcades which have a circular pier in the centre of each side and octagonal piers to east and west. The easternmost bay of each aisle was set aside as a chapel; externally both have a transverse gable. The northern one was presumably the 'little chapel behind the pulpit' in which a parishioner wished to be buried in 1641. (fn. 154) Its southern counterpart was depicted without a gable in 1742. (fn. 155) The west wall of the church was rebuilt with large closely set buttresses and a narrow two-light window in the 15th century, perhaps to replace a fallen tower of which evidence may survive in the thickening of the western end of both arcade walls. The chancel was probably of the same period as the nave and aisles until rebuilt in the 19th century. Most of the aisle lancets were replaced by square-headed windows with minimal tracery in the 14th century, and the thatched south porch was added in the early 15th.
By c. 1561 the altar had been removed, but there was no pulpit and wall paintings had not been obliterated. (fn. 156) The chancel screen was still in place in 1742, (fn. 157) though all that remained just over a century later was its sill. (fn. 158) By 1843 the chancel had been turned into a schoolroom and was screened from the nave by a curtain. A fireplace had been inserted in the north wall and a large red-brick chimney built behind it. (fn. 159) At the restoration it was replaced by a small wallstove beneath the rector's pew. The chancel was taken down and rebuilt in 1884 with great care to copy the 13th-century details. (fn. 160) Its east wall has a tall triple lancet, with three small individual lancets in the north and south walls and a doorway in the south wall. Reset inside is a double piscina with intersecting arches presumably built by the mason responsible for the very similar ones at Jesus and St. John's Colleges, Cambridge, and in the transept at Histon. The latter was built c. 1280 for Philip de Colville, (fn. 161) also the patron of St. Michael's. (fn. 162) Renovation of the nave and aisles followed in 1889. (fn. 163) The open trussed-rafter nave roof may survive above a 19th-century boarded ceiling. (fn. 164)
A fragment of a brass to Thomas Burgoyne (d. 1470) or his son Thomas is set just within the chancel. The two uninscribed bells in the bellcot, (fn. 165) perhaps those recorded in 1552, (fn. 166) were stolen in 1969. (fn. 167) The registers begin in 1559 but that for baptisms and burials between 1772 and 1812 is missing. (fn. 168)
In 1846 the church of St. James the Less, Philadelphia, was built almost exactly to measured drawings of St. Michael's, which had been sent to the United States by the Cambridge Camden (later Ecclesiological) Society. The design was widely influential in the American Gothic Revival. (fn. 169)